Murder By Numbers
|Budget: $50 million||Financed by: Castle Rock|
|Domestic Gross: $31,945,749||Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros|
|Overseas Gross: $24,768,398|
Directed by: Barbet Schroeder
Produced by: Susan Hoffman
The Warner Bros owned Castle Rock financed Murder By Numbers for $50 million and WB distributed the Barbet Schroeder directed pic worldwide. This Sandra Bullock vehicle opened in the US when a glut of thrillers were saturating the marketplace, with Panic Room, High Crimes and Changing Lanes being released in the weeks up to Murder By Numbers’ release. In 2,663 theaters the film pulled in a very soft $9,307,394 — placing #3 for the weekend led by new opener The Scorpion King and holdover Changing Lanes. Audiences gave the pic a poor C+ cinemascore and despite the low score, Murder By Numbers posted a modest 31.6% second weekend decline to $6,362,457 and continued posting healthy weekly drops, but the film closed its domestic run with only $31,945,749. Warner Bros saw the pic post mostly weak numbers overseas, with a total of $24,768,398. The worldwide total was $56.7 million, leaving Warner Bros with about $31.1 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which does not cover the worldwide P&A costs or put a dent in the budget.
About 10 days after Murder By Numbers opened to disappointing numbers, Warner Bros closed Castle Rock’s physical production departments and the company would no longer have any of its own public relations and 16 of Castle Rock’s 46 employees were fired and the rest absorbed into Warner Bros. Also factoring into Castle Rock’s reduced operations, was recent box office losers Proof Of Life, Hearts In Atlantis, The Majestic and also at this time Warner Bros was prepared to finally release Castle Rock’s long delayed and expensive disaster The Adventures Of Pluto Nash.